UAA course: ‘Pronouns Matter’ because ‘gender is a social construct’

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By DAN FAGAN

The University of Alaska, Anchorage is offering a course on the proper use of pronouns. The class doesn’t focus on how to properly use pronouns grammatically. Instead, the course gives instruction on which pronouns to use when speaking to gender-confused individuals. The course is being considered for inclusion in the next course catalog.

The “Pronouns Matter” description course reads: “Explore the importance of using students correct pronouns to create a more welcoming and inclusive learning environment. The session will introduce the topic of pronoun use, explore practices for gender inclusivity in a university context, and illustrate the importance of this practice for student belonging.” 

Last year’s offering of this course is found at this link.

The university’s LGBTQIA2S+ Advisory Committee hosts the course, which is open to both faculty and students. Sara Caldwell-Kan, UAA’s Multicultural Student Services director, is listed as the course contact. UAA hired Caldwell-Kan from Oregon State in 2021.  

UAA described Caldwell-Kan as someone who “earned a PhD in language, equity and education policy after learning about the unique and embedded systems that continually underserve and marginalized some communities.” 

“Caldwell will promote the academic and personal growth of UAA’s minoritized students by continually working with university leadership and the Seawolf community to address barriers and create opportunities,” the school’s website read.  

“Higher ed is still disproportionately serving some students better than others and I know we know that otherwise this position wouldn’t exist,” wrote Caldwell-Kan.“Thankfully everyone at UAA that I talked to agreed to want to continue to grow and be a better institution and support students of color, queer students, first-gen students – any marginalized groups.” 

For clarification, the word “queer” refers to anyone who is not straight or aligns with so-called heteronormative expectations.  

“First gen” students are those whose parents did not graduate college. 

Caldwell-Kan released a video six months ago entitled “Pronouns Matter: Understanding Pronoun Use in Teaching and Learning Contexts.” It has had eight views, nine if you include this writer.

In the video, Caldwell-Kan criticizes gender reveal parties for the unborn claiming it could be years until we know the true gender of the child.

Caldwell-Kan says in the training video, “There are some basic things that we have to agree on starting out. And one is that gender is a social construct.”

She also said education systems are built for white affluent men. 

“The focus needs to be on folks with marginalized identities because it (education systems) was made for folks with dominant identities,” Caldwell-Kan said in the video. 

Caldwell-Kan argues to move forward we must all agree that gender not a matter of biology or x or y chromosomes. Rather, gender is determined by environment and external influences.  

Unless students and faculty agreed to this principle, advancement is not possible, she implies.

In other words, unless students and faculty are willing to ignore the science of biology, they won’t get much from the “Pronouns Matter” curriculum.  

Dan Fagan is a reporter for Must Read Alaska. Email him. At [email protected] 

37 COMMENTS

  1. It seems the underlying objective from this delusional course offering is that if you repeat a lie over and over and over and over then somehow it becomes ‘reality’. What a sad waste of university and state resources. And Caldwell-Kan seems to be another example of the too many from the left coast fleeing the filthy messes their communities, and/or economies, have become, but bring the same dysfunctional politics along with them. Corvallis, home to OSU, used to be a lovely college town.

  2. ‘It has had eight views, nine if you include this writer.’

    This is the only bright spot in this story.

  3. We are all better off never going near ANY university any more! Parents, don’t send your kids to college! And home school the little ones.

      • For you yes for the rest of us that’s a no. Silly boy you can’t resist being the terrible troll you think you are . Well we’re not fooled heheh.

        • Well Mark, Barbara has shown us she has no idea what a university education is about. Your post shows us all that you have about as much of a clue as her. It’s the trolls that utter such things as “parents, don’t send your kids to college.”
          Well it’s unlikely she (or you) could get enrolled as likely neither of you got through high school.
          Your turn Mark.

          • I have a college degree billy and I did not work in public service I have a real job that creates wealth. Plus I know right from wrong if you look at your posts and the replies you would know you’re out of this league of intelligence.
            Heheh

          • I find that hard to believe Mark. You evidently slept through the part about critical thinking, too.
            What is this wealth creating job you speak of? You just speak in tongues and think it somehow involves intelligence. And why have you dropped your troll bit? The only one trolling here now is you. Tough noogies to you too.

          • Well bill if you don’t know how wealth is created then it’s too late for your education. Stay on food stamps and enjoy the Sullivan arena. I really don’t care if you think I have more schooling than you. Crawl back into your bed and dream up more fantasies.

          • Lots of plain gibberish there Mark. And haven’t shown us your wealth creating job you claim to have-should be easy for a clown without using your name to come up with something grand. Heheh!
            By the way, I’ve a BA and MS in mathematics from some years ago as I’ve been retired for about 10 years now and live in Juneau for about 50 years now. And say, do you have a problem with all public service as in Military Service-you couldn’t hack that I’m fairly sure. Frankly, I’m thinking you are typing from your mother’s basement but do keep it up as we need the laughs here. Tough noogies to you.

        • You can’t be original so copy me. You’re at your mom’s in the basement. The public service I have a problem is feds state and city politicians and employees. I am impressed you were able to find some degrees. Too bad computers replaced you.

          • Just more gibberish Mark. And you don’t find degrees.
            So……………..you a deadbeat dad and some pol called you on it? No wonder you have a problem with public service. Heheh!
            Tough noogies to you.

  4. Just defund the UA system. Fire everybody, disinfect the buildings and start over.

    Gender is not social, it’s physiological.
    Look between your legs in the shower if you’re not sure.

    The Democrats are the party of science as much as Pol Pot was an advocate for strong families.

  5. Well this is what the state money will be spent on. What a most useless class I can see it now a degree in stupid.

  6. Basket Cases 101
    Prerequisite: lifetime of heavy metal poisoning and an overexposure/addiction to mainstream media

  7. Here are your pronouns, all you UAA students with psychosexual mental illnesses:
    .
    Crazy
    Idiot
    Lunatic
    Moron
    Stupid
    Cretin
    Nutjob
    Fool
    Flake
    Wastrel
    Crackpot
    Cuckoo
    Maniac
    Insane
    Deranged
    Insane
    Whacko
    .
    Feel free to mix and choose to your delight.

    • Jefferson, your’s is not a list of pronouns but rather that of proper nouns or adjectives depending upon how they are used.

      Definition of Pronoun in English:
      The part of speech used as a substitute for an antecedent noun that is clearly understood, and with which it agrees in person, number, and gender. Pronouns are classified as personal (I, we, you, he, she, it, they), demonstrative (this, these, that, those), relative (who, which, that, as), indefinite (each, all, everyone, either, one, both, any, such, somebody), interrogative (who, which, what), reflexive (myself, herself), possessive (mine, yours, his, hers, theirs). There are also pronominal adjectives, sometimes called possessive adjectives (my, your, his, her, our, their).

      Anyone trying to redefine or pervert the true definition of pronouns in our common English language is figuratively playing the role of a bull in a china shop. They are damaging our culture and should be negatively sanctioned.

      • Mad because you didn’t think of Jefferson’s blog first. Who cares about nouns and pronouns? Us normal people got what he was saying just fine. We need to sanction the name, Wayne.

      • Wayne Coogan, your excellent tutorial above should be helpful in further discussions regarding the proper use of Pronouns. Having said that perhaps the best method to diffuse this ridiculous topic I propose one SIMPLE RULE. Call it the Coogan Rule.
        All UAA campuses from this day forward shall be a ” Personal Pronoun Free Zone”.

      • Wayne, I did and do of course realize your point regarding the proper definition of pronouns. But hey, in a world where words can mean whatever we want them to mean, my list of nouns automatically also became pronouns! Those words also becomes rainbows and unicorn farts, anything that I wish and demand them to be!

        • Jefferson, you have aptly described the fundamental problem. That is, the father of all lies is remaking our culture on a foundation of lies where words no longer have true meaning…. as our culture descends into a miasma of depravity. I ask that you strike from your heart any tendency to cooperate in this evil agenda. Hold the line. Persist in using our language properly and classically. For example, never use the term “biological male” when the truthful term “male” will suffice.

  8. This is why the States need to get rid of State universities. First, how are regular colleges to compete? Secondly, this is why prices are so high at university. They are notgrounded in a market economy. If they were useless degrees would dry up. The states would save millions.

  9. This is why the States need to get rid of State universities. First, how are regular colleges to compete? Secondly, this is why prices are so high at university. They are notgrounded in a market economy. If they were useless degrees would dry up. The states would save millions.

  10. It’s a course at a university. No one is required to take the course. If you’re in the course you paid to be in it and have an interest in attending.

    I don’t like pottery classes. Some people love pottery classes and pay to attend them. I don’t get outraged when pottery classes happen or when a local art shop sets up a class. This just seems silly to fuss over.

    If a pottery class was forced onto me and I was threatened with punishment for not taking it, then yea I would have an issue, but thankfully this isn’t the case for either of these things.

    A more extreme example is religion. You may be very passionate in your beliefs. I doubt that as a reasonable person, you object to the existence of other religious institutions that practice opposing beliefs. When a new religious building is created and people attend and tithe or donate it doesn’t harm you or cause outrage. Even if you disagree entirely with their teachings you leave them be.

    This situation is more nuanced than pottery, and less nuanced than religion, yet it garners more outrage than both combined which does not make any sense. It’s just outrage p*rn.

  11. To Ms. Caldwell-Kan:
    .
    Please include in your catalog that I offer special intakes at my psychiatric clinic in Anchorage for your registered applicants. In fact, I can offer YOU a diagnosis for minimal charge.

  12. LGBTQIA2S+, huh? How is this rubbish valid in any respect? Kids plan a future, if at all, based on a ‘social’ coefficient?
    A thorough cleansing is in order,,,

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